Technological innovations are changing business in numerous and often unexpected ways. The most palpable change is probably the fact that new gadgets and software can level the playing field in ways no one thought possible. That means that even the smallest businesses, recently started by a small group of enthusiasts, can use and benefit from the changes in business related technology as much as large corporations. Efficiency, security, and marketing are probably the areas of doing business that will experience the biggest turmoil in years to come.
Marketing and consumer interaction used to take most of the time, resources, and money, especially if you want to do them right and benefit from your efforts. This was also a specifically human endeavor reliant on the expertise and talent of marketing professionals, content creators, and research teams. However, AI has stepped in and changed the game entirely. The key to a good marketing strategy is to know your audience, and most of the important information about clients can be gathered online. This makes the content created by automated marketing services more personal and better suited to the needs of each particular consumer.
This is especially important for retail businesses – the goal is to make the purchase as easy and convenient as possible. Even the smallest business should have an app and accept all kinds of mobile payment methods, from Paypal and Apple Pay, which are now pretty standard to other emerging ones (like using Facebook chat app to make purchases). Using these methods is convenient but it can also bring up concerns about personal data security and online anonymity. Be straightforward with your customers and let them know what personal data are you collecting and are you using them for marketing purposes. That way everyone is on the same page and can trust each other.
Shrinkage is the source of a lot of concerns, especially for small businesses and startups. Inventory tends to disappear. Not all of it is stolen (although a significant percentage is) a lot of inventory gets lost or destroyed during the shipping. This could be avoided by using the latest in inventory management technology. Keeping track of the inventory is now an effort that almost doesn’t require actual human labor. Using tracking devices allows a business owner to be aware of any shortages and keep the shelves full and the products up to date. Long-term tracking is also a good way for businesses to get a better understating of their customer’s needs.
Security challenges are probably the biggest concern for every business owner. The risks can come from both outside and inside the company and the use of the newest gadgets can be a good substitute for knowing and trusting everyone accessing your property. Using a HID reader gives you control over physical access to secured parts of your facilities and stores the information about the time spent within the facility. It comes with easy to use interface and led lights that clearly indicate the security status of the card holder.
A traditional office is becoming a thing of the past. Most of the work could be done remotely and outsourcing allows entrepreneurs to look for talent all over the world. Virtual offices will be equally beneficial to the employees because they allow for more free time and a personalized working schedule. This type of arrangement will also change the way work is valued and paid. The focus is going to shift to quality and expedience of work instead of hours put in, as is now the case.
Businesses should keep an eye on technological developments and endeavor to always be on the cutting edge. Tech improvements will make business more efficient, but they will also change the way people work and how their work is valued.
What do you think?